New Zealand-based band The Beths first LP, “Future Me Hates Me,” is a spirited pop-rock album that combines joyful melodies with refined lyricism. The opening track “Great No One” oozes power-pop vocals and tasteful guitar riffs which accompany explosive choruses and tension-building verses.
The energy is similar to Weezer’s beloved debut album but blends with the re ective masochism of Angel Olsen. Simply put, “Future Me Hates Me” is a refreshing burst of pure pop bliss in a sea of experimentation.
Lead vocalist and songwriter Elizabeth Stokes tempers a self-reflective songwriting style with infectious melodies that evoke an ironic quality to each song.
“You say my name, my legs support a little less,” Stokes sings on “Little Death,” an innocent love song accompanied by brooding instrumentals. Beneath the surface, Stokes’ lyricism retains its authenticity despite being placed in the upbeat context of the instrumentals.
“Future Me Hates Me” is perhaps the most original guitar-based album to be released in the latter half of 2018. Produced by the band’s guitarist, the group retains full control of its sound and honesty.
Stokes focuses on the fear of vulnerability as she sings, “The walls become thin, and somebody gets in.” The songwriting on the entire record capitalizes on this theme, accompanied by subtle yet well placed harmonies and memorable guitar solos.
Nothing about the album is immature. The Beths are not a group of amateurs new to performing.
The band-members studied jazz at the University of Auckland, where they explored a myriad of musical and performance styles.
They chose to make a pop-rock record, and they succeeded on a multitude of different levels. It is comforting to have a certain style that never tiptoes into new explorative territories. This is an album that knows exactly what it is: impulsive, catchy and a mess of wonderful indie-pop anthems.
A combination of intensity and slacker-rock, “Future Me Hates Me” is a refreshing record full of pop-rock hooks that have the potential to unite fans of rock subgenres. The Beths are certainly a band to watch, and their debut is one to celebrate.